Yes, it’s that obligatory New Year blog. The one about how I’m going to change my life, improve myself, become a millionaire etc. Except I will not be making any New Year’s resolutions.
The problem with New Year’s resolutions is:
- They are major lifestyle changes – stopping smoking/losing weight/going to the gym/changing a job etc
- January is a bad time to change anything as bad weather and ill health often interferes; by the time you’ve overcome those, your resolutions are out of the window
- By not keeping your resolutions you become guilty or feel a failure and then you go back into that cycle of bad habits.
- They might not be in your control – life style changes require support from everyone around you
Instead I look at what I would like to do in the year, both personally and in business and write a list of things to do to achieve this (I like a list). These are my goals for the year.
Setting Business Goals
In my business I want to double my turnover in 2015. To do this I need to increase my client base and what I offer to existing clients. An example of how I might do this is as follows:
- Attend at least 2 networking events per month and follow up the people I meet
- Attend a training course in February to expand my skill set
- Set up a blog and social media programme and stick to it.
- Communicate the range of services I offer to existing and potential clients
- Build a referral network of experts who work with small businesses.
These are all things I can control. I can monitor whether they work and change them if they do not have the desired outcome – i.e. more work.
Alison Wren has written this great blog about setting business goals, so I’m not going to repeat them here!
I can apply something similar to my lifestyle too. I know I want to run faster in 10k races and I aim to do my new personal best on a fast course in the summer. To do this I need to train more, but I have finite time. So, I need to train smarter. Over the next 6 months, therefore my to do list is to:
- Run longer runs on alternative Saturday mornings
- Include a hill run at least twice a month
- Run with the faster training group from March
- Do a short but faster run once a week
- Run a 10k race at least once per month from February
I also like to do a few new things every year and my husband and I come up with a list, which might look like this:
- Try 6 new recipes
- Try 6 new pubs in York
- Go on 6 walks of at least 10 miles
- Run 4 new races
- Go on 4 cycle rides of at least 20 miles
- Have 3 weekends away with the family
- Swim outside 6 times in the UK
These are all things we enjoy doing and it encourages us to try something different – we all get in a rut and go to the same pubs, eat the same food etc. Some of these are quite a challenge others are just things we keep meaning to do. For me these are the kind of things that improve my lifestyle. They are incremental improvements rather than dramatic changes.
I would love to hear your list of goals, business or personal, for 2015.